Reward offered in hunt for Didcot five-year-old’s toy monkeys

The Oxford Times: Charlie Lewis with his remaining monkey                 Picture: OX65135 David Fleming Buy this photo » Charlie Lewis with his remaining monkey Picture: OX65135 David Fleming

BINS have been searched, posters put up and dozens of leaflets posted to residents.

As the hunt for clues goes on, a cash reward is on offer of £145.

But the search being conducted is not for a person – it is for one little boy’s lost toy monkeys which were in a case along with some of his clothes.

Didcot residents are going ape in their efforts to find the two cuddly creatures – which five-year-old Charlie Lewis has slept with since the day he was born.

Little Charlie said: “Whoever has them can keep my clothes and my suitcase if they want, but all I want back is my monkeys. I miss them.”

Now his mum Catherine is doing everything she can to get them back.

The toys were inside a suitcase decorated with pictures from children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which was left at the car park in Regent Gardens, Fleet Meadows, in Didcot.

Inside, there were the cheeky monkeys along with a change of Charlie’s clothes.

Ms Lewis, 34, said: “He’s had them since he was born. One of them was given to him by his grandma, and the other one was from his other grandma.

“He has slept with them every night since he was born. They’re his absolute favourite – they are part of the family.”

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When picking Charlie up after a weekend at his dad’s in Didcot, Ms Lewis put Charlie safely in his car seat – and then got into the driver’s seat without picking up the suitcase.

It was not until four hours later, after stopping by her mum’s for a birthday tea, that Ms Lewis noticed that the suitcase was missing.

Ms Lewis, who lives in Wantage, said: “I feel so guilty. I need to get them back.

“I’ve done everything I can think of. We went round and gave out 190 leaflets. We’ve searched through bins, we’ve got posters, and hundreds of people have shared it on Facebook.”

Friends and strangers have been offering money as an incentive for the toys to be returned, and the reward now stands at £145.

Charlie’s aunt Niki Lewis said: “It’s purely an incentive to motivate whoever has picked it up to do the right thing and return a little boy’s beloved toys.”

Catherine said: “It’s amazing how many people have offered money. He’s a little five-year-old boy and it’s touched a lot of people.”

One donor was Sharday George, who gave £5. She said: “I know how devastated my little brother was when he lost his teddy.

“He wouldn't sleep properly for months. I hope they get found.”

  • Anyone who can help should call 07917 168438.

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